People are developing idiosyncratic habits to cope in a world overwhelmed by a pandemic. In a matter of days, the rules have changed, and continue to disrupt our daily lives to a great deal.
Although each one has a different quantum of impact, nonetheless one is still affected to some degree. The economic slowdown, the bombarding of information, a COVID-19 curve that continues to go upwards has a devastating effect on our social fabric. As adults, many are extremely anxious and worried; it can be not easy to rely on usual coping strategies relating to mental wellness because we’ve never experienced a situation like this before. But have you ever wondered, what our children’s state of mental health is?
The world is now a place wherein the mere interaction with another could be a potential threat. Children have been physically separated from their peers, teachers, grandparents, neighbours and communities. Children haven’t had many experiences to help them go to a reservoir or internal “toolbox” of positive energies to manage intense fear and anxiety. Any time a child faces significant change, it can lead to the feeling anxiousness, which can be frightening. The predictable routine which stimulates resilience to overwhelming events is missing.
A child dealing with stress may have the symptoms which approximate or mimic those of adults; they may experience anxiety, foul mood, guilt, anger, disorganisation, exhibit disruptive behaviours, increased arousal and hypervigilance, experience somatic symptoms, disillusionment and fear of a limited future.
Importantly, young children do not recognise the existence of chance events and may attribute the disaster to something they have done. Children often tune into our distress, and in the absence of proper, clear, understandable information, they often make up their own exaggerated stories which may even be worse than reality.
While we may feel sanguine about protecting our children from worry by not talking about our reality, perhaps it more important to help them manage their fear and stress by being honest with them about the crisis. Age-appropriate activities and mindful manifestations can be more fruitful during this Pandemic.
For World Mental Health Day, here are some tips to help children cope up with issues:
Cloud Meditation or Sky Gazing – Let your child become more relaxed and peaceful with this fun experiment. A traditional Tibetan calming meditation technique called sky-gazing or cloud meditation works wonders. Cloud meditation is a great tool to develop mindfulness, and kids can practise it. Gazing out the window early morning is calming and soothing and helps heighten awareness to the stillness, provided you can spot a cloud in the sky. Ask them to sit in deep silence while watching the clouds, settle their attention on their breath, and let their gaze expand into the spaciousness of the clouds. Whenever their attention wanders, gently ask them to let those thoughts go, and come back to the phrase. Practice this for 10minutes every day.
Worry Bubbles- on the relief – This marvellous technique is designed to assist children with letting go of any concern and capture happiness. This activity is designed to help us release worry bubbles so that they feel more calm and relaxed. It is a visualisation-relaxation technique that combines thought and action to assist the child in letting go. This technique not only helps the child to visualise worries as they drift away, but it also promotes deep breathing as they are blowing bubbles. Deep breathing automatically sends a message to the body to relax and calm down.
Binaural Beats Meditation – A new secret weapon! Generally, binaural beats are safe for kids; it is a beat therapy and sound wave therapy. It makes use of the fact that the right and left ear each receive a slightly distinctive frequency tone, yet the brain perceives these as a single tone. Advocates of this type of therapy currently recommend it for the treatment of anxiety, stress, and related disorders. These beats decrease stress and improve cognitive ability in children and help them enhance their intuitive state.
Hypnosis – Hypnosis helps diminishing peripheral or accentuating conditions in kids. You can make your child practice daily for 10 minutes before bedtime or early in the morning. It is a tranquillity-like state in which will assist your child with heightened focus, mindfulness and concentration. Hypnosis will allow your child to bypass their subconscious mind and introduce them with positive thoughts and ideas into their conscious. It is also popularly known as mental imaginary technique.
You can ask your child to relax on the bed, breath slowly and evenly from the stomach and not from the chest and deep dive into remembering good things. By closing both the eyes, recalling a pleasing and a joyful image from the past, ask them to vividly experience the same by remembering the sound, smell, colour and taste of the moments. After 10 minutes, ask your child to return with a good feeling accumulated from those memories.